Town tries "bait cow" to lure wayward heifer

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 01, 2011 6:13 PM
Town tries "bait cow" to lure wayward heifer

OMAHA, Neb (Reuters) - A wayward heifer's free-ranging days in a small Nebraska town are numbered.

A young cow that fell off the back of a truck has been wandering loose in Plattsmouth for over two months. Animal control officers in Plattsmouth said Thursday they corralled a "bait cow'' in a community tennis court to help lure the elusive heifer in from the cold.

"We know that she's back in the area because we found where she beds down during the day,'' said Sue Baker, animal control officer for the town, which is about 20 miles south of Omaha.

"We hope she sees the other cow and joins her in the tennis courts when she walks by next time," she said.

The wandering bovine is one of two that tumbled off a semi-tractor trailer livestock truck after a rear panel door fell off in mid-September. One cow fell onto a highway in an adjoining county. Plattsmouth's cow fell into a city street when the truck was detoured into the community.

The driver apparently was not aware of the missing cargo and drove on in both instances. No one reported two missing cows.

The Plattsmouth cow has been hiding in woods on the north edge of town during the day and coming out at night to graze on grass lawns. The 1,500-pound heifer appears healthy, Baker said. "Now that there's nothing to graze in the countryside, she's coming into town for food,'' she said.

Baker had the cow at hand Wednesday and tried to walk her toward the tennis courts but a small, loose, barking dog ran by and spooked the heifer, who ran away. The cow was seen again Thursday morning.

(Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Greg McCune)